James and his three closest lifelong friends go on an ill-advised trip to the stunning coastal area of Barafundle Bay in West Wales. What follows is a touching and comical adventure dealing with friendship, heroism and love.
What a perfect little film this is! Heart felt and heart rending in equal measure, this is the perfect little British Indie film. Full of heart and emotion, James (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his friends Miles (JJ Feild) Davy(Tom Burke) and Bill (Adam Robertson) go on a camping trip walking to beautiful Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire from which only three of them will return. For James in dying of cancer, so this is a buddy road movie but much more than that - the journey they all take is something else again. The landscape is an extra character, and there are some sweet cameos (nutty turn from Hugh Bonneville as a crazy beachcomber, a grubby and badly behaved angel...and more) This is a story of love, and friendship, of grasping life and also of letting it go.
Hattie Dalton has drawn great performances from her cast, and has also had the confidence to let a glance, a move, a gesture speak volumes rather than overwhelm the film with too much dialogue. A cast of this calibre does not need it. Great to see JJ Feild able to step up to the plate and really act rather than just be a handsome elegant presence, as he is so often cast. But the heart and the soul of the film belongs to Benedict Cumberbatch. This man acts from his core with amazing technique. skill and subtlety, And such empathy, too. A rare talent that deserves all the success he is now achieving. And the final scenes are beautiful to watch. Sad yes, but uplifting and quite, quite beautiful.
This is such a touching story of friendship and loyalty. Benedict Cumberbatch is amazing as the lead actor but Tom Burke and J.J. Fields are also very good. The story centers on Cumberbatch's character who is terminally ill and even though the story focuses on how far his friends will go to make him happy; it is also apparent that the film is a comedy, tragedy, survival story etc.
This is one of those films that someone recommends to you, but you put off watching it because it's understated.
It's the kind of film that takes you on a journey through the simple, sad and at times funny life of a character that isn't long for this world. I won't go into detail, but it's engrossing. Quite a simple story, well told and acted.
ByMark BarryHALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 24 November 2011
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
The affection afforded this British movie by other UK reviewers is absolutely on the money - "Third Star" is a superbly realised little film with a huge beating heart. I was very moved...
The story goes like this - James' lifelong but hapless pals decide that one last adventure will be a hoot and morale booster for their mate who is dying from an incurable disease - so they drag his three-wheeler chair loaded up with tents, drug suplies and a potted tree they will plant at journey's end - across fields, forest and coastal terrain. Their destination is Barafundle Bay - a stunning, secluded inlet in Wales that James adores. And you can see it in James' face too. He thinks that if he can just get there 'intact' - everything will be all right somehow. But of course nothing goes to plan and despite the odd belly-laugh along the way, the journey tests their friendship and loyalties to the absolute limit...
First up - praise has to go to HATTIE DALTON for her warmth and steady Direction in what could have been awfully cheesy material that's been done to bits too many times before. She's given this buddy-buddy story a lightness of touch that feels real and isn't forced. In fact, the constant wit and pranks reflect just how guys are when they're in real emotional turmoil - downright childish even. Kudos should also go to the four male leads who had to gel together convincingly, muck in on the arduous trek and physically brave the coastal weather - none of which can have been easy - or in the case of the freezing Irish sea - deeply unpleasant. And when the reality of their friend's terminal illness slowly begins to kick in and intrude on their 'fun' - they're skills as good actors make you 'feel' the heaviness of what their characters are all trying to block out.
Principal lead Benedict Cumberbatch has many fans - and on the strength of his acting chops both here and on "Sherlock" (the UK TV series) - it's easy to see why. His James is a demanding lead-role - a frustrated 29-year old who is being eaten-alive by cancer. His longing to live - to have more time - to realise at least some of his dreams - are always at the surface - and you ache for him as he slips in and out of a morphine-induced stupor that is numbing his escalating physical agony. As well as the pain - James has to also contend with his squabbling, tetchy pals - who are trying to be cool about it all but are freaked out inside and increasingly awkward with his now impending loss.
His fellow travellers consist of Adam Robertson as the witty and yet dependable Bill, Tom Burke as the needy but sincere Davy and JJ Feild as the handsome devil-may-care Miles (surely a new Jude Law in the making). They will even encounter Hugh Bonneville (of Downton Abbey fame) as a nutty Beachcomber looking for rare Star Wars toys. The dialogue is playful, smart and confrontational when it's needed. And then they're faced with the ultimate true-friendship decision - but can any or all of them - actually go through with it? Even with this much sadness at its core and end, "Third Star" remains hopeful - a sign of a great film rather than just a good one.
EXTRAS include a brief 'Making Of' and two shorts by Hattie Dalton called "The Banker" and "One Of Those Days". The only real let down for me is that it's on DVD only - and not BLU RAY - where all that great camera work would surely shine even more.
There are moments in "Third Star" when you genuinely ache for James' loss - when you hurt at the arbitrary cruelty of life - snubbing out one person, but letting another live. This is a very good movie - one that celebrates life and makes you think about it too.